Monday, July 14, 2014

More wind and rain

Winds gusting over 30 mph blew through the farm today, collapsing most of our grape house and damaging some of our blackberries.  The collapsed hoop house over the grapes (we were hoping that there wouldn't be a repeat of May 31st) broke canes off of several vines, but others were spared.  Now we have to get the plastic (which has many holes in it now) back over them before the leaves sunburn.  Cloudy skies are forecast - and more rain - for the next few days, so we have a little time to repair the hoop house.  Unfortunately, the collapse also broke off one of our two tomato plants, so we will definitely be short on tomatoes this year.  The winds blew over several potted bushes and trees, swept a tray of artichoke seedlings off the tractor hood, and appear to have damaged primocanes and flowering laterals on several blackberries.  Wild Treasure looks to have weathered the storm well, however, with no apparent damage.  Gotta love that variety!  Once the wind dies down (it's still going pretty good even at this hour) and the sun comes out, we will see how much damage was done to the blackberry patch.  As for the raspberries, thank goodness I trellised the Cumberland black raspberries.  They and the rest of the raspberries look fine.
  Things like the weather, which one cannot control, require perseverance and deep respect for nature.  Times like these remind me that in Alaska just about anything is possible at any time of the year and both people and plants need to be robust to survive - and not just the cold!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fragrant flowers to come next week and then produce!

The first flowers have appeared on lavender and Mock Orange should flower soon!  These two will add some fragrance to the plethora of flowers that are now blooming around the farm.  Other plants in bloom include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, cherries (almost done), potentillas, lilacs (Ms. Canada - Ms. Kim is a few weeks away), bleeding heart, pansies and ground covers.  Anthony Waterer spirea looks to be a ways away.  Peonies will start any day now, though there will only be a few.
  We did some maintenance on the bulldozer today in preparation for moving trees into a pile.  With trees out of the way, land clearing should go a little faster.  Of course, that assumes that we don't get 3.84 inches of rain in 40 hours again!  The good news is the warm weather now is drying everything out.  If the weather holds we will be clearing some more land soon.  Maybe (and that is a big maybe) by this time next year we will be open for tours.
  Produce sales will likely start in two weeks, with spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and whatever fruit is ripe.  There will be raspberries most of August and September.  Blackberries should be ready beginning late August.  We will post the hours of our produce sales when the time comes.